erik lundegaard

Politics posts

Friday September 18, 2020

Is This Why—Dare I Say It—Trump Will Lose?

“Demagogues become popular because they talk about things that matter to people. In 2016, Trump talked about immigration, the opioid crisis and political correctness — things that no one else was talking about. This year, he's talking about things that no one cares about: Confederate flags, Goodyear tires and his Twitter account. He's a demagogue increasingly disconnected from the demos.

”Unlike in 2016, Trump can't afford to talk about the country's biggest problems because he's primarily responsible for them. When he talks about problems, he denies they're problems. He tells sick people they're healthy and unemployed people that the economy is booming. To appeal to voters, he has to lie to them, and on Tuesday he lied to their masked faces. ...

“Campaigns are not about plans. They're about connecting with voters, which Trump so far has failed to do. He has no health care plan and no empathy. Rather than feeling your pain, Trump wants you to feel his.

-- Windsor Mann, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors, and a senior adviser to the Lincoln Project, in the opinion piece “Donald Trump's supervillain ABC town hall made Joe Biden appear almost superhuman,” in USA TODAY

Posted at 11:59 AM on Friday September 18, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Tuesday September 08, 2020

The M-A-G-A Took My Country Away

Ramones version here.

Posted at 04:13 PM on Tuesday September 08, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Friday September 04, 2020

What Trump Said About the Military

  • On the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris, filled with war dead: “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”
  • On the 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood: “suckers.”
  • About World War I: ”Who were the good guys in this war?“ [He also didn't understand why the U.S. would intervene on the side of the Allies.]
  • On flags being lowered half-staff for John McCain: “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser.” 
  • On Pres. George H. W. Bush for being shot down by the Japanese during WWII: “loser.” 
  • On the war dead at Arlington, including the son of his then-head of DHS John Kelly: “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”
  • On having wounded veterans participate in a military parade: “Nobody wants to see that.”

-- from Jeffrey Goldberg's article in The AtlanticThe White House has denied the report. An AP reporter, doubtful, checked with his sources, and they confirmed. A Fox News reporter, Jennifer Griffin, checked with her sources, and they confirmed.

Posted at 02:33 PM on Friday September 04, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Friday September 04, 2020

My Talks with Trump III

This is from yesterday. 

In other news, or related news, Trump has ordered his toadies (Bill Barr, et al.) to look into defunding several major American cities, such as Portland, Seattle and New York, because there's supposedly anarchy in the streets. Anarchy? I walk these streets all the time. Nothing close. Even when the CHOP was in full swing in June I walked those streets and never felt threatened; I just felt bored. It was a 1970s crafts fair, not Bosnia 1993. Seattle is beautiful. If there's anarchy, it's coming from inside the White House. And it will keep coming from inside the White House as long as the fat brat is in there. (BTW: Does this mean we don't have to pay federal taxes?)

In other news, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg reported yesterday that Trump has called U.S. servicemen who died for their country “losers” and “suckers,” and while visiting Arlington National Cemetery with John Kelly, who was at his son Robert's grave, asked, “I don't get it. What was in it for them?” Any other president—any other person—you'd doubt the veracity of the report; but this isn't far afield from what Trump has said in public. Of course, the White House denies the muti-sourced report but an AP reporter, who doubted it, too, reached out to his own sources, and they confirmed.

In other news, Trump is shuttering Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper that's been in existence since the U.S. Civil War. “For no good reason,” says USA Today.

In other news... 

Posted at 08:06 AM on Friday September 04, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Tuesday September 01, 2020

Biden on Trump: 'He Can't Stop the Violence Because For Years He Fomented It'

I woke up yesterday morning at 2:30 AM with a heavy heart. Almost literally. It felt heavy with worry. All about the presidential election. I worry Trump will take advantage of protests in the streets to eke out a victory. I think it's a long shot, but he's got a chance. I'll worry about that every day until Nov. 4th. At which point I'll either celebrate or prepare for the worst. Or both. 

Yesterday, at least, was a good day. Biden gave a speech in Pittsburgh that hit the exact right points. My favorite:

“Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It's lawlessness, plain and simple. And those who do it should be prosecuted.”

He needs to say this again and again. And again. Don't assume people know. Make it sink in. 

Also this about Trump:

“He can't stop the violence because for years he's fomented it.” 

And this about himself:

“Ask yourself: Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really? I want a safe America. Safe from Covid, safe from crime and looting, safe from racially motivated violence, safe from bad cops. Let me be crystal clear: safe from four more years of Donald Trump.”

And then last night Donald Trump went on Fox News and compared a policeman who shoots someone in the back seven times to a golfer missing a putt. He said that Portland “has been burning for many years, for decades it's been burning.” He implied that protestors were being paid. And he said the people who were controlling Biden are people in the dark shadows, people you've never heard of, and then talked about people on a plane wearing dark clothes and that “it's being investigated.” He's a loon. 

So it was kind of a good day. But our president is a loon, and the stupid left needs to shape up. There's only one goal now and that's Nov. 3. Eyes on the prize. 

Posted at 02:20 PM on Tuesday September 01, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Friday August 28, 2020

Gaffigan Kills

Jim Gaffigan is a standup comic who makes me laugh but isn't, you know, my favorite. He's doesn't push boundaries and his routines don't make me reflect. But he makes me laugh and that's why I follow him on Twitter. We all need a laugh these days. Last night, he gave me more than that. He gave me an absolute burst of truth at the tail-end of four days of lies known as the Republican National Convention.

Know this: Gaffigan is a practicing Catholic and a clean comic—he doesn't swear. He also doesn't come near politics. He also has a lot of red-state fans. That's why what happened last night is so powerful.

Was there any intimation it might come? I guess the night before, Wednesday night, he tweeted simply: “Maybe tomorrow will be better but ...” Just that. Who knows. He could've been talking about dinner. And mostly, in this Covid era, he's been tweeting his kids and his wife, and raising money for a shelter in NYC, and the like. But there it was, Wednesday night: “Maybe tomorrow will be better but ...”

After Trump spoke last night, it was just this: 

 Then nothing for an hour.

And then he went off. Both guns. Blazing. 

  • excuse me while I treat myself to confronting some asshole trolls...
  • Look Trumpers I get it. As a kid I was a cubs fan and I know you stick by your team no matter what but he's a traitor and a con man who doesn't care about you. Deep down you know it. I'm sure you enjoy pissing people off but you know Trump is a liar and a criminal.
  • By the way you can't be against Cancel Culture and tell people to stay out of politics. You know that time you did a job and didn't get paid? That's trump and you know it.
  • I know you hate snobs and elites I get it but look at Ivana and that douche bag Jerod. Think they are on your side? Do you think they've ever done a real days work in their lives. Wake up
  • to those of you who think Im destroying my career wake up. if trump gets elected, the economy will never come back.
  • You know he lies. Constantly. Yet you dont care? What because he insults people that make you and me feel dumb?
  • Fuck Lou Holtz. Biden is Catholic in name only? Compared to who? How many abortions did trump pay for? How many women has he raped? How many times did pull the shit he did in Ukraine. Wake up. He's a crook and a con man.
  • can we stop with this HOLLYWOOD shit. I'm not from Hollywood and Hollywood is just a town. Please say coastal elites (which Trump, Jared and Ivana are) Maybe people on the east and west coasts have different values from yours but they dont like liars and con men like trump.
  • Please dont buy that socialist crap either. Obviously Obama wasn't a socialist. This is all lies to scare you and you know it. Biden is not radical. Are you serious?
  • Remember everything Trump accuses the Democrats of he's guilt of. Dont let the socialist name calling distract you from the fact he is a fascist who has no belief in law.
  • You know Trump just creates enemies. You know you can't trust him. You know he been incompetent during this crisis. You know all those people didn't need to die. Trump talks about the Space Program and you can't safely go to a movie. Wake up
  • Trump budding up with dictators is RADICAL. Trump having interfering with the justice department is RADICAL. Trump pandering to the police and army (I gave 3 raises) is RADICAL.
  • I dont give a fuck if anyone thinks this is virtue signaling or whatever. We need to wake up. We need to call trump the con man and thief that he is.
  • Trump derangement syndrome is part of the con. Wake up. you know Fox News is biased and full of loons. it's how they gaslight and silence criticism. Do you think any of those congressional republicans really believe in Trump or do they fear him dont want to end up like Flake.
  • Trump literally ran Paul Ryan out of politics. Why? Paul Ryan knew Trump was poison. So does Romney. Trump is not a conservative or even a Republican. You know that. You know Barr is dirty. You know if Trump gets re-elected it's over. How many books have to be written?
  • Heading to bed but remember
    - If you want to sound crazy please tell me about THE DEEP STATE.
    - To sound stupid please be against CANCEL CULTURE but then accuse anyone with an opinion of Virtue signaling.
    - Trump Derangement Syndrome is meant to distract from the con of Don

I followed it all in real time. I retweeted it, liked it, loved it, encouraged everyone to follow him. It was just joyous. It gave me hope. 

The part I like best? The assumption that the people he's arguing with know that Trump is dangerous. Gaffigan doesn't give them an out. He doesn't assume they're too dumb or too racist. He tells them right to their faces that they know. He uses the phrase “You know...” 16 times. You know Trump lies, you know you can't trust him, you know Barr is dirty, you know Fox News is biased and full of loons.

God, it made me so happy.

For a moment. And then I read about the left-wing mob picking on elderly Trump supporters in D.C. And today I got into it with other lefties—including friends—who excuse or possibly encourage the destruction of property in the wake of police killings. I.e., Because this guy got shot in the back, then I get to loot that drug store or burn down that restaurant. That'll show 'em. All of that just made me sad. It's the one pathway to a Trump reelection, and the kids, all white, don't seem to care. It's the new form of white privilege. 

But for a moment, last night, Gaffigan killed. Thank you, Jim. 

Posted at 04:22 PM on Friday August 28, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Friday August 28, 2020

A Tale of Two Tweets

This is Joe Biden last Oct. 25, warning us that actions taken by the Trump administration have made us hugely vulnerable to a pandemic. He called it—three months before it began, five months before Trump even bothered to pretend to take it seriously.

This is Donald Trump on the same fucking day

It would be laughable if it weren't already tragic: 5.8 million Americans infected, more than 180,000 dead.

Nobody give me this “They're both the same” bullshit. Vote. Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does. 

Posted at 12:28 PM on Friday August 28, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Sunday August 23, 2020

The Past is Prologue—or Donald Don't Learn

Do we?

From Michael McFaul, former ambassador to Russia, via NBC News:

Some of the most egregious practices from the 2016 presidential campaign documented by the Senate investigation are repeating themselves in the 2020 presidential campaign. Once again, Putin wants Trump to win and appears to be seeking to undermine the legitimacy of our election. Just like in 2016, Putin has deployed his conventional media, his social media operations and his intelligence assets to pursue these objectives.

Most shockingly, Trump and his allies have decided to — again — play right along. ...

On Aug. 7, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned about foreign interference in the 2020 election: “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia 'establishment.'” The ODNI report noted that pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading false claims about Joe Biden as part of this effort. “Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television,” it observed.

Instead of criticizing this behavior, however, Trump and his allies are amplifying and promoting Russian disinformation online. Perhaps most amazingly, Trump is circulating to his 85 million Twitter followers material provided by foreign actors designed to discredit Biden. Derkach — the pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarch — is reportedly providing these slanderous materials to Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. ...

It all feels like a replay of Natalia Veselnitskaya's mission to Trump headquarters in the summer of 2016 to provide “dirt” on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — only now, all in the open.

Posted at 08:03 AM on Sunday August 23, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Thursday August 13, 2020

My Talks with Trump II

Posted at 07:46 AM on Thursday August 13, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Tuesday August 11, 2020

It's Kamala!

This is great news. The tweet below is nearly a year old, and I'd already been pushing for this ticket for a year before that. And by “pushing,” I mean that when someone asked “Who are you pulling for?” that was my answer.

Posted at 02:09 PM on Tuesday August 11, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Monday August 10, 2020

Trump's Gettysburg Address

President Donald Trump said Monday that he will deliver his convention speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination from either the site of the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania or the White House in Washington, DC. -- CNN

Many, many years ago, and it was so many, back when America was great—and I was the one who said Make America Great Again, and we will—all those amazing years ago, the founding founders said “all men are created equal.” And that’s a beautiful phrase.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war—people don’t know that but it’s true. And it’s a test. And we’re here on this battlefield, where many men died, many amazing, beautiful men fighting to make America great again, like I said, and it’s a test about the blacks. And no one’s done more for the blacks than I have. I don’t get the credit, but that's fake news, fake news, I never get the credit. I created the greatest economy in history, stopped the China virus, beat the Russia Russia Russia hoax, but never credit from those reporters over there, you know the ones. And that’s why I’m here. I’m here to dedicate, and consecrate, and hallow this ground. Such brave, brave men who died here. Brave. And there were good people on both sides. Will we remember what they did here? I don't know. I really don't know. I don't know. But everyone will remember what I said here.

And so we're living and they're not. But we should honor them by voting for me. Not mail-in ballots because that's fraud, but vote for me, so these beautiful dead, these corpses, these amazing, brilliant corpses, won't have died in vain. And that this nation, under God, the greatest God ever, the one, you know the one, will give us a new birth of freedom—like gun freedom that others are trying to take away from you. So grab your guns and your freedom and make sure government of me, and by me, and for me, won't perish from the earth. Thank you.

Posted at 04:14 PM on Monday August 10, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  

Saturday August 08, 2020

Trump's Pre-Existing Condition Promise Pre-Exists

I have big problems with The Hill—too often they simply quote the lies of powerful people, mostly Republicans, Trump way too often—but this is a good succinct summary of Trump's idiocy. Sad!, in a word. 

What other marvels can we expect from Trump? Will he repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”? Rescue the auto industry? Help pass a stimulus package to get us out of the global financial meltdown? Establish relations with Cuba? Re-kill Osama bin Laden? Pathetic. He so wants want Obama has and will never get it. Start with class. Love the irony here, too: Trump's promise on pre-existing conditions already exists. It's a pre-existing condition.

Posted at 11:01 AM on Saturday August 08, 2020 in category Politics   |   Permalink  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard